The only times I usually set foot in Kawasaki are to either watch Kawasaki Frontale in the J.League or to see a load of c*cks! Yes, you did read that right as Kawasaki is home to the annual Kanamara Matsuri (a.k.a. the p*nis festival!) at the start of April each year. However, this time I decided to check out some b-grade spots in the Kawasaki city area which lies just over the border from Ota ward in Tokyo.
Let’s start with what I think is the most interesting of the “sights” I saw a few weeks ago. North of Keikyu Kawasaki station (about 15 minutes on foot) is an area known as Kawaramachi which is home to an interesting architectural building designed by Sachio Otani.
This building (number 3) was part of the Kawaramachi High Rise Housing Project and was completed in 1972 with it’s design intended as an alternative to the usual alternative block. As you can see the lower half of the building is splayed resulting in a public space underneath which has seemingly never really been utilised fully and has ended up just being an area where the residents park their bicycles or the kids play ball games.
Wanting to get a view of the whole structure’s exterior I sought out a vantage point in a nearby building so climbed up to the 12th floor of the structure across from it just to get the first photo seen below.
Before that I had been to one of the most remote parks in Kanagawa prefecture. Ukishimacho Park lies across the waters of Tokyo Bay from Haneda Airport and certainly is no special park but the flowers were starting to bloom and there were some interesting views as I could see the planes coming in to land at the airport. Having done likewise in Okinawa in 2016 and Haneda itself in 2017 (for the ANA Star Wars droid planes) I seem to be making a habit of doing some plane spotting!
Kojimashinden station on the Keikyu-Daishi line is the nearest station to the park but is nowhere near it as it’s about an hour walk but I was fine with that. To be honest, I had a hunch that a shot from ‘Shin Gojira‘ (2016) had been taken from near this place but it turns out I was wrong and it was actually taken from the other side of the river.
Thankfully I saw sense on the way back and waited for a bus which took me to my next destination. That was a water gate (known as Kawasakikakou Suimon) on the Tama-gawa River located about 10 minutes on foot between either of Minatocho and Suzukicho stations on the Keikyu-Daishi Line. It was built in March 1928 and was designated as a registered tangible cultural property 70 years later. Zoom in to those two bobbly bits on the top of the tower gate and you’ll notice that they are fruit baskets stuffed full of grapes, pears and peaches which were specialities of the area at the time.
The Kawaramachi building (mentioned at the top of this post) was next and after that there was time for one more stop-off albeit a building just outside of Kawasaki. Yamato Industrial building (5-1-1 Heiwaijima, Ota-ku) is just over ten minutes on foot from Heiwaijima station and was designed by Japanese architect Hiroshi Hara who was also responsible for the Kyoto Station building and the Umeda Sky building in Osaka.
There are still a few other things I’d like to see in Kawasaki but they will all have to wait for another time and another post!
Click here to read ‘C*ck A Load Of This – Kanamara Matsuri’
Click here to read ‘Back To J-League Action In Kawasaki’